Tips on how to be a great car salesperson


Competition is pretty fierce in the UK motor industry. Mostly every village and small town has a new or used car dealership, while bigger towns and cities are home to numerous auto trade businesses – both franchised and independent.
The cars on your forecourt play a huge part in your success running a motor trade business. But how do you differentiate your dealership from others that stock the same type of vehicles as you? It’s simple: be the best car salesperson there is!
It’s true what they say: people buy from people. If potential buyers like and trust you, then they’re much more likely to hand over their cash for one of your used cars. Give them a reason to distrust you, or don’t spend time building a relationship, and you’ll lose out to a car seller who cares more about their customers.
First things first, though. Before you start putting all your effort into being a top salesperson, you need to think about insurance.

Insurance Choice can set you up with motor trade insurance that protects your valuable business assets, for a price that won’t break the bank. We cover part- and full-time traders, creating a bespoke package tailored to your unique needs.

So, how can you be a great salesperson?

If you’ve chosen to be a car salesperson, a predominantly customer-facing job, then you’re probably a good ‘people person’ already. But here are some extra tips that will help you fine-tune your salesperson skills, build better bonds with customers and sell more cars.

Focus on building rapport

Not many people take to a pushy salesperson these days. If you’re speaking with someone on your forecourt and you notice them crossing their arms, becoming quiet or shifting about, these are all signs you’re selling too hard and need to back off.
As a Hubspot blog explains, you need to focus instead on building rapport with your customer – ask them things like what they’re up to on the weekend, where they’re from or what they do for a living.

These questions aren’t threatening and are simple to answer; once the customer has relaxed, you can then ease back into the sales conversation by using one of their answers to talk about potential cars.

Less talk, more listening

A good rule is to listen twice as much as you talk. Rather than bombard customers with an onslaught of questions, give them the time to discuss their needs with you first, and allow time for them to process your responses.
It’s especially important not to ramble on during test drives, as customers then have to think about responding to you rather than formulating thoughts or concerns about the car. If you’re going to offer test drives, make sure you have an appropriate level of motor trade insurance.
 A car salesman handing over the keys to a new car to a customer

Don’t talk down the competition

While it might be tempting to disparage other dealerships in a bid to win custom, doing this can actually make you come across as rude, untrustworthy and even a little desperate.

If someone did mention one of your competitors, it’s best to just offer a neutral response – such as “Alright” or “I see” – then explain what makes your business different (and better!). See it as an opportunity to explain your dealership’s USPs.

Drop bad phrases

There are some phrases you need to cut from your vocabulary if you’re to be a top salesperson. Firstly, avoid any phrase using the words ‘honest’ or ‘honestly,’ as they seem obnoxious and can make customers not trust you. You’re better off simply just being honest from the outset – you don’t need to clarify that you’re being truthful!
“With all due respect” is another one to steer clear of, as it can seem a little defensive. Instead, you could say something like: “I get where you’re coming from, is it OK if I offered a different opinion?”

Don’t make assumptions

You need to treat all customers equally. If you were to approach a couple on your forecourt but only directed questions and made eye contact with the man, the woman could feel disheartened that you didn’t make any effort with her and you could end up losing the sale.

Don’t assume that the male is the main buyer and decision-maker; chances are if they’re visiting you together, it’s a joint decision and joint investment.

Discuss price last

Once you’ve built a relationship with a prospect, met them a few times, been on a couple of test drives and they tell you they’re ready to buy the car, only then should you start talking seriously about price. I.e. you need to wait until the customer is in love with the car, at which point you can negotiate a deal that’s fair to both you and them.
 A showroom of new cars in a car dealership

Use quiet days to learn more

Of course, some days will be slower than others at your dealership. Rather than sitting around waiting for custom, use these days to learn more about your cars, research market trends, find out about next year’s models and follow up with prospects. Soak up knowledge to be a stronger seller and better salesperson.

Be there for customers – sale or not

If all your hard work pays off and you sell a car, make sure you’re there with the customer for the technical walk-through and personal inspection.

Get your customer excited by offering to take their picture with their new purchase, and consider offering a little gift as a token of your appreciation (make it car-related, if possible).
If a customer says they need a few more days to think on it, tell them you understand, explain you’ll follow up and walk them out of your dealership. This will help to keep you fresh in their mind, while showing that you aren’t frustrated about not closing the deal.

Motor trade insurance from Insurance Choice

Hopefully, following these tips will turn you into a top car salesperson.

Just remember to protect the cars you sell with motor trade insurance that reflects your business’ needs. Get a free, no-obligation quote today!